Senator Bruce Star: Bust bureaucracy, not teachers

Oregon’s revenue shortfall: A better solution to balance the budget
By Oregon State Senator Bruce Starr
Guest Column in Oregonian, 6-7-10

The latest state revenue forecast revealed the reality that many of us have been warning about for more than two years. State revenue projections have not kept pace with the feverish pace of state spending, leaving a $577 million shortfall in this budget cycle. The majority party wrote a budget last year that included a 15 percent increase in total spending, despite skyrocketing unemployment and a bleak economic picture. Now we’re reaping the consequences of their wild oats.

The governor’s solution to the shortfall is to hastily slash 9 percent of every agency and program budget, regardless of the importance or value of the service provided. That means the Department of Administrative Services won’t face a cut any deeper than our local classrooms. It means the Department of Revenue won’t be asked to reduce any more than the prison system or our state police patrols. This mindless “solution” that cuts teachers and school days rather than bureaucracy and administration is a bad approach in my book.I recently had the opportunity to visit with a group of seventh-grade students at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove. It was clear they are concerned about the future of their education and the fate of their most beloved teachers and classes in the wake of what looks to be a $2.7 million cut to Forest Grove School District. Also in my district and of grave concern to me is the Hillsboro School District, which has announced that an additional $8.2 million cut from its budget will force some school principals into part-time staff members. When there are alternative solutions to putting our students in this vulnerable situation, why aren’t they explored to the fullest extent?

That’s why I’ve taken action to call the Legislature into emergency special session. Along with Democrat Bill Morrisette, I set into motion a mechanism the Legislature can use to call itself into a special session by a majority vote of both chambers. This is our chance to cut the bureaucracy, waste and less-important services of state government rather than classroom teachers and school days. A special session would give the Legislature an opportunity to fulfill its constitutionally mandated duty: create a balanced budget. It would also give us a chance to make needed reductions to state spending with precision, carefully prioritizing and protecting the services that matter most to Oregonians. If we are successful in calling a special session, my first priority will be protecting K-12 classroom budgets.

It may be the irresponsible budgeting of the majority party that has put us in this mess, but I’m unwilling to make our classrooms suffer as a result. Across-the-board cuts are draconian and an irresponsible way to make needed reductions to state government. A special session would give us the opportunity to do what we were elected to do: balance the budget and protect the services that make the greatest impact in our daily lives.

Bruce Starr, a Republican, represents Hillsboro in the Oregon Senate.

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  • Jim Ray

    Yeah,yeah,yeah. And you helped double DMV fees which will eventually contribute to grow the bureaucracy.
    Why don’t you mention the OEA or PERS? You are a “mindless” politician without the courage to admit the state of Oregon is bankrupt because of “mindless” politicians.
    BTW, why didn’t you and Morrisette address these issues during the last “special session” which was only a few months ago? Just go away!

  • John Fairplay

    Unfortunately, real change in the way dollars are deployed in our K-12 schools will have to await the elimination of many of the union work and compensation rules which currently exist. We could get so much more value for our education dollars – and employ so many more union teachers – if the hands with which school boards deploy money were not tied behind their backs. The idea that we have to pay an art teacher with 20 years experience (whose classes are not required for graduation) more than we pay a Science teacher with 3 years experience (whose classes are required for graduation) is completely ridiculous. The focus of our tax dollars is completely wrong.

    • a retired professor

      These might be good ideas, but it’s not exactly true that the school boards have “their hands tied behind their backs.” All of those rules are there because of contractual agreements. Get the unions to agree to different rules.

  • Britt Storkson

    The sub-heading on the editorial page (D4) of the Sunday, June 6 Oregonian illustrates the problem perfectly. It says:
    “Where is the lifeline for the nation’s public schools as state funding shortfalls like Oregon’s threaten the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers?”
    Notice that all they are concerned about are jobs for teachers. No concern for the students whatsoever. That’s what public education has become…A very expensive job mill for teachers and administrators.

    • a retired professor

      Perhaps having teachers is one way of showing concern for students?

      • Anonymous

        What do you mean, prof? Are you suggesting that having 50 students to a classroom would be a bad thing?

      • Britt Storkson

        It depends on the teacher. I’ve tried to volunteer (no charge) to teach students a skill they can use anytime in their lives anywhere in the world – electronics. But this school hired an expensive babysitter with no practical skills instead.

        Why? Because right now public school administrators are compelled to award a teacher (read rank and file union member) a gravy job instead of educating students. Schools exist to benefit teachers and administrators, not students.

        • a retired professor

          If the jobs of “hundreds of thousands of teachers” are at stake, then yes, I will assume that this might somehow affect the teaching of students. Despite your anecdote about the rejection of your allegedly valuable services.

          • Britt Storkson

            This is not an anecdote. It actually happened and is replicated over and over again proving that public schools exist not to serve the students but to serve teachers and administrators.

            Professor, why do insist on propping up (funding) teachers at all costs at the expense of students and taxpayers?

          • a retired professor

            I never supported “propping up … at all costs … at the expense of …” you are making things up.

            In reply to your absurd, sweeping statement in #3, I pointed out that “hundreds of thousands” of teachers losing their jobs will affect education. It will. Apply it to Oregon by having “thousands” of teachers lose their jobs. It will have a negative effect. That’s all I ever claimed. It’s true, and I stand by it.

            I’m not especially a fan of the teachers unions. (I always opposed faculty unionization at UO; I don’t see how a university could function with the same rules as the K-12 schools.)

            So go reform the teachers’ unions or the state’s agreements (contracts) with them, and when you’ve succeeded, report back.

            In the meantime, in the real world, we have to work with what we have to work with.

          • Britt Storkson

            Professor, what we have to work with right now simply isn’t working and is incredibly expensive relative to the benefits received. There are many laws that guarantee a union teacher a job but there is no law that guarantees that a student be educated even to minimum standards; No law guarantees that a student will be able to read his or her diploma much less do basic math and writing. What does that tell you?

            You and a few others are willing to condemn our schoolchildren to an “education” that does not even meet third world standards in many cases. This in order to give a teacher a high-paying job without regard to this teachers’ qualifications or dedication. And without regard to whether what this teacher is teaching is of practical value to their students. Go ahead. Try and justify that one!

          • Anonymous

            What are you talking about? No Child Left Behind?

          • Anonymous

            I’m talking about who benefits here: The teachers and administrators or the students. Simply having a teacher on the payroll does not necessarily mean that anybody will be educated. You can take your car to the mechanic but if the mechanic doesn’t fix the car or doesn’t know what to do to fix your car won’t get fixed.

            And I won’t debate the professor any further on this subject because he/she has tunnel vision. All he/she does is repeat over and over again that we need to have teachers. It does not matter to the prof whether these teachers actually teach something of practical value or even teach anything at all.
            In fact laying off thousands of teachers might be the best thing that happened…FOR THE STUDENTS.

          • a retired professor

            Again, you’re simply putting words in my mouth (or writing) that aren’t there. Either you are being deliberately dishonest, or your reading comprehension is as bad as you might attribute to the public school teaching. (Did you even read what I wrote just above concerning unions?)

            If you want to insist that laying off “hundreds of thousands” of teachers won’t affect education, go ahead. I won’t waste any more time trying to dissuade you.

  • Steve Plunk

    The taxes you help pass were “draconian” Sen. Starr. The idea of raising taxes during a recession is absolute lunacy. The state government, the one you and your fellow legislators run, has become an insatiable beast devouring the labors of it’s citizens.

    The financial can never be put in order until PERS and public employee unions are dealt with. Both have been a known problem for more than 30 years yet our legislative leaders have passed the buck on to the next crew every two years. Want to take real action? Step up and address these problems before they grow even bigger.

  • Anonymous

    The Teachers at Parkrose school district union meeting said they refuse to take any cuts in pay or benefits, while many of the businesses in the district have cut employees.

    I know one business that had 100 employees last year and now has 25, another business had 27 employees and it is now gone. And lots of vacate store fronts.

    The greed of teachers union is unsustainable and they are running Salem.
    They hurt the truly caring teacher. lets fix the problem and we all need to sacrifice for the kids.

    Schools should be about education, not lining the union pockets.

    • a retired professor

      Perhaps the schools should cut enrollment by 75% (like one business you mentioned) close altogether (like the second)?

      You apparently think the teachers should do the same work and take pay cuts.

      How many service businesses do you know of that have cut prices when they have a full load of work?

      I can search in vain for price cuts among the restaurants, doctors, auto shops etc etc that I patronize. Price freezes, yes; cuts, no.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >You apparently think the teachers should do the same work and take pay cuts.

        They had no problem asking the rest of us to do the same.

        Excuse me Mr. Professor – But exactly what the hell do you think increasing tax on small business is other than expecting people to do the same work and take a pay cut?

        Pardon me, but after the OEA’s support for those tax increases, to then be asked to be exempted from that which you felt was fine for everyone else is patently absurd.

        >How many service businesses do you know of that have cut prices when they have a full load of work?

        When you have to force people to buy your service, trying to claim you are a service industry with a full load of work is really a little much.

        That is unless you support school vouchers where 100% of the money follows the child.

        Teachers know their “service” is in very low demand, and no one would partake of their “service” if they were not forced to. Thats why they fight school vouchers tooth an nail. They know if 100% of the money followed the child, the OEA would have a membership of about twenty within five years.

      • Steve Plunk

        The customer in this case is the taxpaying public and they can spend no more so those cuts will be necessary. The number of students is not the issue though the union wants it to be.

        For years spending on education has increased while performance has declined. The education establishment offers no explanation just more demands for money. The only way left to restore productivity is fiscal discipline. That’s always difficult when they like to use the kids as props.

        The cuts should start with benefits and follow with wage freezes.

        • Anonymous

          Don’t you get tired of singing the same worn-out old song? It’s unfortunate that the public school system has failed your family, but perhaps it’s time you look in the mirror? Maybe the cause of your children’s stupidity is not the result of overpaid teachers, but lousy parenting? A weak value system?

          • Steve Plunk

            Excuse me Mr. Anonymous but the public schools didn’t fail my family. You don’t know me or my son so kindly keep your uninformed opinions to yourself. This is not the place for me to be singing the praises of my son and it is also not the place for you to speak of him either.

            That worn out song you’re complaining about is the truth so it rings true. If truth is something you would rather avoid then perhaps you should avoid this forum.

            My value system starts with standing behind the words I post here with conviction and pride. I run a business and am listed in the phone book where anyone can call me. I volunteer time to local government committees and commissions. I also believe in free speech and pushing back against bullies. Calling someone stupid when you know nothing of them is a something a cowardly bully would do. Let’s see if you’re brave enough to apologize.

          • Anonymous

            “Excuse me Mr. Anonymous but the public schools didn’t fail my family.”

            Oh, I see. I was under the impression that you didn’t value the services provided by all those individuals that make public education possible. Glad to see they were of service to your family and to your community, and that they’ve done a good job in your estimation.

            “That worn out song you’re complaining about is the truth so it rings true. If truth is something you would rather avoid then perhaps you should avoid this forum.”

            No, not at all, Steve. I’m a big fan of the truth. You should try it some time.

            “Let’s see if you’re brave enough to apologize.”

            I do not owe you an apology. Again, look in the mirror, Steve. You are the one throwing around insults. My wife is a teacher. I know how hard she works, I know how much grad school debt she carries, I know what she earns (hint: not nearly what I’d bet you think she does), I know how tied her hands are, and I know how much more difficult people like you make her job (I’m guessing you were the kind of parent that would come into meetings and tell everyone in the room how to do their jobs… if not, then for that I apologize). You expect teachers to make something with nothing, and when they do you give them no credit whatsoever.

            But anyway, on behalf of the teachers in whatever district your son was schooled, you’re welcome.

          • Steve Plunk

            Believe it or not I paid for that education, those teachers didn’t do it for free. I value public education but believe we have gone too far in kowtowing to the teachers union. A very reasonable stance.

            If something I said is not true please point it out rather than make baseless accusations. It’s what a gentleman would do.

            You may be right about the apology, you owe it to my son who you called stupid without knowing anything about him. Again, that’s what a gentleman would do. And what insults were thrown by me? Read my post, there are no insults.

            Your posts have been full of assumptions and accusations without knowledge. If you are going to defend teachers you have to do a better job. As it is you are undermining your position with insults and baseless accusations. That’s kind of what the teachers union does.

          • Anonymous

            “Believe it or not I paid for that education”

            Yes, as did I, as did my wife (a teacher), and as did every other taxpayer (including those of us without children). Public education is a service that benefits the entire community, not just students and parents of students.

            “those teachers didn’t do it for free.”

            Nor should they be expected to.

            “I value public education but believe we have gone too far in kowtowing to the teachers union. A very reasonable stance.”

            I do not disagree. FYI, not all teachers are fans of the teachers union.

            “If something I said is not true please point it out rather than make baseless accusations. It’s what a gentleman would do.”

            “…For years spending on education has increased while performance has declined. The education establishment offers no explanation just more demands for money…”

            Your most definitely false insinuation here is that performance has declined as a result of teacher negligence or incompetence or some other such thing. The reality that nobody seems to want to discuss is that children are performing worse and worse as the years go by because parents are becoming less and less capable of parenting as the years go by. Tell me, what is a teacher to do when a child is allowed to go home and sit in front of a television, or a video game, or his or her facebook page, or whatever for five or six hours a night? We have a serious cultural problem on our hands, and it is not the fault of teachers. If parents don’t value discipline and education, why would their children?

            “The cuts should start with benefits and follow with wage freezes.”

            PERS was renegotiated effective August 2003. New hires since that time on neither Tier One nor Tier Two, they are on the OPSRP pension program. COLA is tied to the CPI and is a reasonable expectation for wage increase.

            “You may be right about the apology, you owe it to my son who you called stupid without knowing anything about him. Again, that’s what a gentleman would do.”

            Give me a break, buddy. I don’t know your son and more than likely never will. My calling him “stupid” was an obvious tactic to get you to admit the public education system served him well. There’s no need to feign offense. Get over it. That’s what a gentlemen would do? Funny. Well, I’m comfortable with your consideration of me as something other than…

            “And what insults were thrown by me? Read my post, there are no insults.”

            I am familiar with you and your views on public employees, Steve. This discussion is not occurring in a vacuum. I need not cite examples of your insults, whether explicit or implied. Be a man and own your contempt for all these people that you do not know. There’s no need to hide behind your facade of a gentlemanly nature.

            “Your posts have been full of assumptions and accusations without knowledge. If you are going to defend teachers you have to do a better job. As it is you are undermining your position with insults and baseless accusations. That’s kind of what the teachers union does.”

            That seems to be exactly what you say to anyone and everyone who disagrees with you. I have to do a better job at defending teachers? No I don’t. All I have to do is vote against you. By the way, I hate the teachers union.

          • Steve Plunk

            So let me get this straight. You claim I made a false insinuation? No false facts but just your interpretation of my factual statement that education dollars have risen while performance has declined. That’s a true statement.

            You also fail to give any example of an insult made by me yet you admit to baiting me by insulting my son who you know nothing of. Stating facts is not insinuating insults unless you’ve been in the politically correct public sector. Here in what I call the real world facts are just facts. Why do they sting the public sector as they do?

            I don’t hide behind my gentlemanly nature but refuse to stoop to falsehoods and name calling. You failed on those counts. In my opinion you failed entirely in countering anything I have said.

          • Anonymous

            “So let me get this straight. You claim I made a false insinuation?”

            Correct.

            “No false facts but just your interpretation of my factual statement that education dollars have risen while performance has declined. That’s a true statement.”

            Your statement of fact is without meaning. Are you suggesting a negative correlation between spending on education and student performance? What exactly is your point? If spending had been cut (and more teachers lost their jobs) how do you imagine performance would have been effected? What exactly is your proposed solution for increasing the performance of public school students? Increasing class sizes? Eliminating physical education programs? Art programs? Second language programs? Eliminating public education altogether? What is the solution, Steve? Is your concern for the intellectual capabilities of the next generation of our workforce, or is it merely for balancing the state budget in the short-term? What are your goals? What is the most important element for the future prosperity of our state and our country?

            “You also fail to give any example of an insult made by me”

            You’re pretty thick, dude. If you think suggesting that public school teachers are overcompensated AND incompetent isn’t insulting, then there is not much more to talk about.

            “yet you admit to baiting me by insulting my son who you know nothing of.”

            Admit? Who knew I had to admit anything? I thought it was obvious from the beginning. Once again, if you’re happy with the education your son received, then perhaps you should acknowledge that FACT every now and again.

            “Stating facts is not insinuating insults unless you’ve been in the politically correct public sector. Here in what I call the real world facts are just facts.”

            In what I call the real world, facts require context in order to have meaning. Your so-called analysis of the facts is devoid of any such context.

            “Why do they sting the public sector as they do?”

            I wouldn’t know, Steve, I’ve never worked for the government.

            “I don’t hide behind my gentlemanly nature but refuse to stoop to falsehoods and name calling.”

            I don’t know who you think you’re fooling. I don’t regard you as a gentleman.

            “You failed on those counts. In my opinion you failed entirely in countering anything I have said.”

            You know what they say about opinions…

      • Anonymous

        You guys making no sense. The tax increases (which I voted against, Rupert, in case you didn’t know) were to raise the same amount of money for the same services. It’s kind of like when you have a business with fixed capital costs (e.g. payments for property, vehicles, etc.) but business is down. You gotta make the payments, even if you have less income.

        You want vouchers? Convince the voters. Good luck!

        You want pay cuts for teachers? Take on those teachers unions in Springfield and Medford. Show us the way!

        So Oregon can’t meet its payroll. Well, Oregon will have to make do with less, I guess. Too bad.

        • Steve Plunk

          Except it’s not really less. It might be less than they wanted but it’s still much more than inflation and population growth could justify. Government by nature is greedy and government employees ride that train.

          Taking on the teacher’s union is tough when they hold the kids hostage to their demands. I wish I knew the way to get them under control.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >You guys making no sense. The tax increases (which I voted against, Rupert, in case you didn’t know)

          You are suggesting there would be a case where I would know the voting record of some guy posting as “anonymous”?

          Lots of people post here as “anonymous” so how in the world do you think there would be a case where I knew how you voted?

          The only “anonymous” I know of who ever indicated how he voted on 67 was the “anonymous” who posted here who is known as something of a creepy liberal prude.

          The only reason I remember that is because that guy went into stalker mode on me and went around googling me on the internet. Then he went to clearly marked adult site and got all disturbed because he saw some ten year old nude pictures of me. He was such a prude that he thought that if he posted this revelation, it would be so shocking as to shame me somehow.

          That little episode did little other than tell everyone a little bit about how small minded some of the more prudish liberals out there can be and backfired on him in a big way.

          If you are that guy, then yes, great, you voted no on 67.

          You are still someone who exhibits undeniably creepy behaviour because of that event so I dont exactly know how you expect to be taken seriously.

          If you are not liberal prudish guy, then you are exibiting some really strange logic in assuming that there would somehow be a case where I would know how you voted on an issue.

          Either way, you are acting somewhat irrationally, either in your assumptions, or in your past creepy behaviour.

          >were to raise the same amount of money for the same services.

          No they werent. Unions had been given a $260M pay raise by Ted less than six months prior to the increase. Measure 67 was expected to raise $300M.

          You missed this?

          >So Oregon can’t meet its payroll. Well, Oregon will have to make do with less, I guess. Too bad.

          Works for me. I am not sure I have ever heard of a public employee who wasn’t getting paid far more than the private sector would pay them for the work they do.

          Police and corrections officers come the closest in my book.

          Teachers? Way overpaid.

          Lets cut the entire schools budget by 20%. that would put their budget equal to that of charter schools. they seem to do at the very least an equal job and they do it with 20% less funding.

          If that isn’t enough then I would cut the public schools budget by 40% so that teacher pay the same as what private school teachers make.

          If I could ask anything from state government it would be that they do less.

          I am perfectly willing to accept either a budget crises or a vote of the people to accomplish that goal.

      • Anonymous

        Professor???

        The business community had to still pay their bills, so the ones that are sill in business, either cut employees, their pay and or benefits, as their income went down.

        I know many many businesses that have done the above and still are struggling to pay their bills. Prices can’t go down when taxes and fees are increasing and you still have to keep the lights on. Volume sales allow you to reduce prices.

        That is not happening.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    For years Salem grew government at a rate that far outpaced inflation and population growth.

    You knew, you did nothing. You raised taxes on us so that government could take it easy while making the rest of our lives harder.

    My sympathy is at an end Mr. Star.

    The entire state government has been run as a make work project to create vast bureaucracies of high pay low skill union jobs. The sole criteria of such jobs being the assurance a state employed voting constituency, well overpaid for their efforts, with not a care in the world of value to the taxpayer.

    The only motivation here is to use Salem as a stage so whatever union make work program within government that you manage to protect will vote for you. None of this is about protecting the taxpayer – we saw such care when our taxes were increased to pay for union raises. A move of such greed it remains unparalleled in recent memory of state government action.

    We don’t believe you any more Mr. Star. We don’t believe any of you.

    Make the across the board cuts – It makes nary a difference to me at this point. Should I care if teachers are cut? Our schools are a jobs program for teachers unions, not educational institutions for children. With our graduation rate, attendance at school obviously has little to with the objective of the institution – high paying union jobs so as to assure votes.

    This is between the legislators and their state worker union constituencies. Who gets fired and who loses votes. Concern for the taxpayer is nothing but a lurid poster bill to entice interest in what has become a tawdry and boring stage show.

    • Steve Plunk

      Well said. They screwed it up and failed to listen to the warnings so now let them pay the price.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Thanks

        • valley p

          “For years Salem grew government at a rate that far outpaced inflation and population growth. ”

          OK…so what? The pace of government growth tracked the pace of income growth and took on the stuff Oregonians asked it to do. Oregon’s income tax rate was unchanged until last January. Our property tax rates were cut and capped with responsibility for school funding shifted to the state. We the people voted for several very expensive prison building initiatives, including one just last fall that you yourself probably supported. We the people voted to dedicate lottery funds to various programs. Gas taxes did not rise for over 15 years in spite of inflation.We still have no sales tax.

          In other words…STOP WHINING! We are not over taxed. Nor is government doing more than we have asked it to do: educate our kids, take care of our old, poor, and sick, police our streets and roads, lock of felons, take care of parks, keep drinking water safe and flowing, keep sewage pipes clean, fight fires, manage forests, inspect fruit and vegetables coming in from other states, and so forth. Get a grip. These things don’t get done by themselves. It takes people to do them.

          “My sympathy is at an end Mr. Star.”

          Well that was easy you never had any to begin with. My sympathy for your rants about government is also at an end. But then I never had any.

          “The entire state government has been run as a make work project to create vast bureaucracies of high pay low skill union jobs.”

          Utter BS not supported by any facts. State workers do work Oregonians have asked them to do, not make work. We don’t have vast bureaucracies, we actually have pretty lean ones. And the technical, and managerial, skill levels of state workers are far higher on average than you will find in the private sector, which has a disproportionate number of low skilled farm labor, retail and service jobs.

          I hope you never need a cop or a fireman Rupert.

          • Steve Plunk

            We have paid our taxes so that cop or fireman are prepaid services. I wonder if anyone ever tells them “I hope you never need a taxpayer”?

            We are overtaxed and government employees are overpaid. That stereotype of a lazy state employee didn’t come from no where. The cost/benefit ration for government has shortchanged Oregon citizens for years and it’s getting worse by the day.

            I have to ask, why is it always cops, firemen, and public parks on the block? Why not DHS employees, revenue department employees, DLCD employees, group retreats, and new state buildings that are cut?

          • valley p

            “We have paid our taxes so that cop or fireman are prepaid services. I wonder if anyone ever tells them “I hope you never need a taxpayer”?

            Pre-paid services? In your dreams maybe. Cops and firemen are not pre-paid. They get checks every 2 weeks. Equipment wears out. New ones have to be trained. Its ongoing payment for ongoing services. And I suspect public employees hear the taxpayer this and taxpayer that stuff more often than is needed. You need them and they need you. Its even-steven.

            “We are overtaxed and government employees are overpaid.”

            You are entitled to your opinion. But there are few facts to support what you think. Most government workers are around median income.

            “I have to ask, why is it always cops, firemen, and public parks on the block? ”

            It isn’t. Teachers and school administrators are also often on the block.

            “Why not DHS employees, revenue department employees, DLCD employees…”

            They are all on the block. That is what an across the board cut means.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >>”We are overtaxed and government employees are overpaid.”

            >You are entitled to your opinion. But there are few facts to support what you think.

            Oh good lord. This is about as stupid as when you stated that the founders left precious little as to their thinking behind the constitution.

            We have been over this endlessly and it has been publicized quite widely. Government workers on average make more than private sector workers.

            Please – don’t try this BS here. It just makes you look completely ignorant of the facts. In this case its especially egregious since the comparison studies of government vs. private sector, have been in the news quite a bit lately in the wake of the Obama disaster.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >I hope you never need a cop or a fireman Rupert.

            I hope so too.

            I live in a rural area where there are no patrols other than for speeding. The fire department is volunteer.

            Nice try, but no cigar.

            Besides – You are still making the same mistake. being for less government does not mean you are against all government.

            Whenever you get around to actually dealing with that fact let us all know would you?

            This line of argument never works well for you, but I guess that is all you have.

          • valley p

            “We have been over this endlessly and it has been publicized quite widely. Government workers on average make more than private sector workers.”

            Yep…we have. Endlessly as you say. Wash rinse repeat. On average, government workers have a much higher skill and education level than do private sector workers. Teachers (probably the single largest chunk of public employees) have BAs or MAs. Wallmart (the largest private employer in the US) associates maybe have GEDs. Now we could fire the teachers and replace them with Wallmart associates. That might help balance the budget.

            “Please – don’t try this BS here. It just makes you look completely ignorant of the facts.”

            We agree. Take your own advice for once.

            “I live in a rural area”

            Yes, so do I. Your rugged, independent, real American rural area is served by big government subsidized hydroelectricity if I remember correctly.

            “The fire department is volunteer.”

            100% volunteer? And was the equipment purchased courtesy of a bake sale? Where did the volunteers get their training? At what point do they call in professional help from neighboring districts (i.e. fire size)?

            “Besides – You are still making the same mistake. being for less government does not mean you are against all government.”

            It sounds like you are for a volunteer-based government. In the recent past you have argued that our kids should be taught by near-volunteer nun teachers. You have also complained abut Veterans getting free health care, so I suppose their doctors and nurses should work free of charge. We can also go with volunteer clean up crews to take care of BPs mess. I agree that what you seem to want is slightly more than no government at all. It is also utterly unrealistic. But you are entitled to your fantasies. Just don’t get all weird when you are reminded they are only fantasies.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Teachers (probably the single largest chunk of public employees) have BAs or MAs.

            And private teachers make 60% of what public school teachers do according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

            You lose.

            Nearly a third of students drop out in Oregon. Portland only graduates about half on time. I would imagine a hot dog vendor or the local handy man could probably achieve similar results.

            As for teachers degrees, who cares? I certainly don’t as I bet most of those degrees are in education. Given the results a degree is pretty much valueless

            >You have also complained abut Veterans getting free health care,

            Nope, never said any such thing.

            You lose again.

            Maybe you do better at making your bigoted jokes?

            Just a thought.

          • valley p

            “And private teachers make 60% of what public school teachers do according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

            You lose.”

            Only if you count vow of poverty nuns and other religious zealots in the mix. I don’t.
            And by the way, you can’t even seem to spell L-A-B-O-R. Unless you are pretending to be British.

            “Nearly a third of students drop out in Oregon. Portland only graduates about half on time. I would imagine a hot dog vendor or the local handy man could probably achieve similar results.”

            Yes, you would imagine such a thing. It would be part of your ongoing Fanatasia experience that you mistake for reality. And you would be wrong. But not for the first or last time. I am sure about that much.

            “As for teachers degrees, who cares?”

            Right again Rupert. Why should a teacher have a degree in of all things education? I mean it makes no sense. They should have a degree in…oh…I dunno… hot dog vending. You are just full of great ideas. You need to write a book of your ideas. A short one, well illustrated and with big letters and a lot of white space perhaps. “The Rupert Guide to Societal Betterment.” Chapter one, “Fire the teachers and replace them with hot dog vendors and other nifty budgeting tricks.” Chapter 2: Reduce oil spills by bringing back Dick Cheney.” You could be interviewed about it on Fox, and with luck you would score a cabinet appointment in the Palin Administration. Or better yet, get your own radio show and make a small fortune. Lesser minds than yours have done so.

            “Maybe you do better at making your bigoted jokes? ”

            I don’t think so. I think any joke I would tell, bigoted or otherwise would sail right past you.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Only if you count vow of poverty nuns and other religious zealots in the mix. I don’t.

            Because you are an idiot.

            I know you are an idiot because I know you don’t have a study or survey showing that when nuns and religious zealots are taken out, private school teachers make more than public school teachers.

            You have a study showing that when nuns and religious zealots are excluded that private school teachers make more than public schools? Lets see it.

            What do I have to form my assertion?

            Well……I went to a Quaker school – Hardly the place of religious zealots and no nuns to speak of. Most who attended were Jewish, therefore probably not an institution of Quaker zealotry.

            Teachers there made quite a bit less than public school teachers. Most had PhD’s. Few were actually even Quakers.

            Before that I went to an Episcopalian school. No classes were taught by nuns. Indeed, none who taught were clergy of the church in any regard. All made less than public school teachers. Nuns were present in the adjoining church and did move about the hallways, but they did not teach nor were they administration.

            12 years of experience first hand tells me private school teachers make substantially less than public school. That experience also includes 12 years of interaction with other private schools through friends who attended them or classes given at them. None were taught by nuns, none were places of religious zealotry, most were not affiliated with a church or a religion in any way.

            Oh but wait, I actually have the governments on numbers as well.

            The Bureau of Labour Statistics confirms my view.

            On your side we have the fact that you feel if you say something it is therefore true.

            In other words you’re an idiot.

            >And by the way, you can’t even seem to spell L-A-B-O-R. Unless you are pretending to be British.

            This from the guy who uses the term “petrol” when referring to gasoline?

            There a further example

            What kind of fool goes running around saying “petrol” and then makes a mistake like this?

            Ill tell you who – An idiot who runs around saying “petrol” who forgot he runs around saying “petrol” and thought he would take a cheap shot and just left himself wide open to looking like….well..and idiot.

            So to repeat – As you have made this same mistake before, done the same floor mop impression when I brought up petrol before – you will get the same explanation as before.

            I was largely taught by British teachers and most of my reading was of British books. Aside from that I grew up reading Tin Tin and Asterix. That’s what I read, all were only published in Britain at the time. That’s how I learned to spell and once again, you have had it explained to you.

            Please do me the favour of remembering this time so that you, the guy who affects the term “petrol”, dont have to do the floor mop impression for a third time.

            Thanks

  • Bob Clark

    I think the less often the legislature meets, the better for most Oregonians. For example, I heard in the last legislative session something like $150 million was shifted from education to the Department of Health and Services (DHS) so politicians could then go out and push measures 66 and 67 and other fee increases as the means to maintain education funding. DHS in the mean time went on a hiring binge. The legislature is capable of only increasing spending while trying to suck more tax revenue out of a relatively faltering state economy also badly hamstrung by restrictions of all kinds on business activities (also enacted by the same legislature).

    Yearly legislative sessions? I say how about only once every five to ten years instead, and even then no more than 40 days for each of these sessions.

  • Bronch O’Humphrey

    Glad to see you can even spell his name correctly.

  • Anonymous

    “”I hope you never need a cop or a fireman Rupert.
    #6.1.1.1 valley p on 2010-06-08 11:03″””

    v-dean, what stupid stunt to play.

    Are you really that dumb.

    Lefties are forever diminishing the ability to fund public saftey and other core functions of goverment with their lunacy and social justice crusade.

    Then left wing clowns like you respond to criiticism with demogoguery that conservatiuve don’t want to adequaltely fund core functions of goverment?

    You’re a complete jerk.

    The run amok abuse of Urban Renewal/diverts millions frombasic services to fund the schmes and boondoggles you support,

    You’re a jerk and hypocrite.

  • a retired professor

    People getting a little steamed up here.

    Rupert, I posted 5.1.3 and forgot to put my logo there. Hello, it’s me! Interesting that you assumed it was I who posted that stuff about your nude photos or whatever. I remember reading those posts and thinking everything about this is weird, but no, it’s not I. Nor am I the one who posted/posts about valley p’s supposed proclivities. As far as stalking goes — if you post stuff on the web, as you apparently have, it’s fair game for anyone to poke around at. But, again, it’s not I who dug up these apparent nude pix. I couldn’t care less.

    I did vote against 66/67 and have said so here.

    Anonymous: Plunk is sensitive about bringing up his son, even though it was, I believe, he who first brought up on the web the matter of his son’s college education. But I would not call someone “stupid” if I’ve never had any contact with them.

    This whole website has an unreal air about it. You guys will hate anything that Oregon government does, whether it’s done by Democrats, Republicans, or the voters. You’re accomplishing nothing. A complete waste of time.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >Interesting that you assumed it was I who posted that stuff about your nude photos or whatever.

      Not interesting at all since I obviously never assumed it was you as I never mentioned “retired professor” in the post.

      In fact I never assumed it was anyone..

      I gave the only two possibilities as to who it could be.

      An anonymous poster who for some reason could think it was the case I knew how he voted on an issue – Which would be illogical, therefore his “which I voted against, Rupert, in case you didn’t know” would be inane.

      Or

      The liberal prude guy, who I mentioned. He posts here occasionally and does so anonymously as I stated. As I also stated he revealed some months ago how he had voted on the issue during a discussion we had had – In that case it would be logical for him to think I would remember how he voted on the issue.

      Thus I mentioned the latter case would be the only one it would make sense in which someone posting anonymously would think it the case I knew how he voted on the issue.

      I never mentioned you at all, so how you then draw the conclusion that I think you are the one who posted about the pictures of me is anyone’s guess. I clearly state several times that I am referring to someone who posts as “anonymous”, not once do I suggest “retired professor”

      >Nor am I the one who posted/posts about valley p’s supposed proclivities.

      What are you on about here? Did I mention you posting something about Deans proclivities?

      What in the world are you talking about?

      >As far as stalking goes — if you post stuff on the web, as you apparently have, it’s fair game for anyone to poke around at.

      I don’t have a problem with that at all.

      That’s why I was forthright about the pictures and didn’t really give a rip.

      However when classically intolerant liberals go to a clearly marked adult site, and then start posting about how disturbed by the imagery they were – that becomes really creepy behaviour and thats what I called him on.

      The proof of this is the fact that at the time I warned him not to go poking around any more because if my nudity offended him, there was plenty more out there to disturb him.

      I make no effort at all to hide who I am and told him so at the time. Any idiot can find plenty of disturbing imagery of me and by me. If it is legal for them to do so, I have no concern who in the world sees it or knows of its association with me.

      In fact I find it a good idiot detector

      If you are offended by nudity and go to adult sites and then complain about how disturbed you were – then you are clearly an idiot.

      If nudity disturbs you and you go to an adult site specifically to look up nude pictures of someone – then you are possibly more of an idiot and definitly an idiot who is kind of creepy.

      >You guys will hate anything that Oregon government does, whether it’s done by Democrats, Republicans, or the voters. You’re accomplishing nothing. A complete waste of time.

      This being the blog that regularly champions measure 11 as a good thing?

      Look – It’s a libertarian blog. What part of that do you not understand?

      Limited government and value for the taxpayer are what this blog is about. Articles and comments here inform in an entertaining manner about what government is doing that could be of a concern to them.

      To libertarians – that concern is obviously going to be more about what government is doing to them as they believe government can do little for them.

      People here place little faith in government and vast faith in the individual.

      Obviously that is the exact reverse of liberal philosophy so of course you are going to see little emphasis on what government does well.

      Government does do some things well – Our military is vastly expensive, but they do show up when the phone rings, thus they are lauded here. Our education system is also vastly expensive, especially when compared to other countries. When the phone rings there we get “I dunno”, declining test scores, half the kids in Portland not graduating on time and demands for raises. Thus they are castigated.

      • a retired professor

        So look, you mistook me (when it probably should have been evident it was I) for “Anonymous” and then in your reply for your own bizarre reasons went off on your stupid nude photos which came up, what, a couple of years ago?

        And if you’re OK with people looking at the stuff you post on the web, why do you refer to it as “stalking” (which, you surely know, has at least the connotation of a criminal activity)?

        You’re right, I should have know that you guys favor prisons (so do I). But maybe it’s your “libertarianism” that prevents you from ever mentioning the vast inefficiency of Oregon’s prison system.

        Maybe you know the answer to Portland’s troubling student performance. Oh, I know — vouchers! As I (and others) keep saying here, put it on the ballot and get the voters to approve!

        Maybe if they google on “Rupert in Springfield” and look around, they’ll have great confidence in your educational wisdom.

        • Anonymous

          Hello Professor, I just noticed this little exchange and can’t help but reply. I am the anonymous poster in question here. “Rupert” is a strange one indeed. Perhaps we should thank him for yet another display of his warped logic. The “nude photo” incident that he apparently can’t seem to let go of occurred some time ago (must have been sometime near the end of 2009). I mentioned it one solitary time after googling his email address, and he has brought it up countless times since then. Presumably in an effort to discredit me (as if any cares one way or the other LOL). An odd behavior for someone who “doesn’t really give a rip”. In his mind, anyone who doesn’t post nude pictures of himself to a swinger’s website must be a prude? Sure, Rupert. I’m a prude. Anyone who isn’t as far to the right as himself is a liberal (regardless of how they vote in state and federal elections)? Okay, I guess I’m a liberal. And conducting a ten second google search on some loudmouth blowhard from an obscure political blog, out of curiosity for who this wingnut might be, constitutes stalking? Wow, okay, I guess I’m a stalker too. I think he’s upset because I referred to his photo as “gross” or “repulsive” or something like that, and from that came to the conclusions mentioned above. So impossible it must be for him to imagine that anyone can possess an appreciation of the naked human form (like most living, breathing human beings) while simultaneously forming the impression that he’s a not particularly attractive sleazebag. The irony of the situation is that – if I remember correctly – the whole scenario came about because he was boldly championing the intellect and leadership abilities of Sarah Palin, who would almost certainly condemn him and his apparent lifestyle. Hilarious.

          Yikes. That’s all I’ve got left to say.

          • a retired professor

            Thanks for the enlightenment. And the memories! Maybe some college students can do an extra credit research project on this to make up for their finals.

            (Actually, I feel bad for the conservative-minded students. So little for them in the official academy and locally, at least, this wasteland of morbid websites.)

            I wonder what percent of the population these guys represent? I came here thinking this might be a thoughtful conservative website. Instead it’s full of mostly low-grade posts from various Republican legislative hacks — OK, it’s to be expected that they’re hacks if they’re legislators — plus an occasional rational piece from the hapless Cascade Institute, plus the dishwater served up by Larry Huss, and then the rants here in the comments section, mostly from a few apparently very unhappy people.

            It’s getting a little creepy here though with an undertone of persecution, accusations, and even a veiled threat or two.

            It does exert a strange fascination, though, doesn’t it?

          • Steve Plunk

            Professor,

            I expect you came here not to read others opinions but rather to troll. Your posts carry an overtone of a bullying former professor who is used to underclassmen who never question, never challenge, and never point out the errors of those who teach them.

            Most often the liberal voices here prefer to use reductio ad absurdum argument to counter reasonable requests for limited government and government accountability. Hyperbole is the standard when liberals make a their case just as you did when characterizing the conservatives who post their comments and opinions. Of course when all else fails some like the anonymous poster call names and get personal. Especially when it comes to public employees and PERS do they get personal. The liberals also like to misdirect the conversation into unrelated and unimportant issues as has happened here. I guess when losing the argument changing the argument is the only option to save face.

            BTW, I brought up my son in college one time as part of my background not as a prop to advance my argument. For someone to call him stupid (an honors student in high school and college) is a personal insult and an indicator of a weak argument. Failing to apologize for such an obvious insult exposes a core weakness of character. That is a person who will never make it in a public meeting where control of your temper is a necessary attribute.

            This grand argument we are all having will soon enough be settled in the public arena and I will be a part of that and I hope you will be too.

          • a retired professor

            I agree with you about calling your son “stupid”. See my #10 way up in this string. It was not I who said that.

            For the rest, you seem to give a pretty good description of yourself, with a few changes. You never miss a chance to trash public employees in general and, I’ve noticed, professors in particular.

          • Anonymous

            This is getting ridiculous. I never called Steve’s son stupid, at least not in the sense that either of you are suggesting. I made an obviously impersonal remark that was an equally obvious ruse to get Steve to admit that public education had not failed him, his son, his community, etc. There is nothing more offensive about what I said (a vague reference to Steve’s children’s stupidity… not even a direct reference to the gender of said children… plural) than Steve’s usual vitriol against all of the nameless, faceless public employees that believe it or not are real people too. As in the beloved sons and daughters and wives and husbands and mothers and fathers et cetera of other real people. So for the love of God, please save the phony righteous indignation for another day. Sheesh.

          • Steve Plunk

            Words matter and I stand behind mine yet you want to disown yours. The only way to do that is to simply apologize. You made it personal and need to account for that. Sheesh.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not “disowning” my words at all. I’m clarifying my meaning. And I do not owe you an apology, so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for one if I were you. Understand, Steve, that I take your broad insults of teachers personally. When I first came to this blog a year and a half or so ago I had a very different feeling about libertarianism. I was very much leaning in that direction. After reading the comments of individuals like yourself and Jerry (especially Jerry) again and again, I came to understand that whatever ideology you represent, I want nothing to do with it. I do not want to be associated with what I view as your misguided hatred and bitterness.

          • a retired professor

            For once, I have to side with Plunk. It was pointlessly provoking to use the word “stupidity” in connection with his offspring.

          • Anonymous

            Suit yourself. Glad to bring the two of you together. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue to feel fine about “pointlessly provoking” him after the umpteenth time he has passively suggested that my wife and her colleagues are overpaid, incompetent, and don’t deserve even a token of his respect.

            As valley p alluded to in another thread, there is a reason a majority of public school teachers leave the profession within their first five years. And it isn’t because they’re overcompensated for an easy job.

            Though I must say, it’s always interesting to see who it is socially acceptable to insult around here and who it isn’t.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >I mentioned it one solitary time after googling his email address, and he has brought it up countless times since then.

            Not exactly – but nice try

            You mentioned it by giving a direct link to the pictures and urging everyone to go take a look in a failed effort to embarrass me.

            I only bring it up now because it is the only way I have to identify you.

            I don’t know how many times I have to say that.

            If you would just use a nick, we wouldn’t have to constantly go through your dopey stunt as the sole means of identifying you.

            >Sure, Rupert. I’m a prude. Anyone who isn’t as far to the right

            Sorry, when you go to a clearly marked adult site, looking for nude pictures of someone, and then are disturbed by nude pictures of someone, thats the definition of being a prude.

            You don’t like being called a prude? That’s easy, stop acting like one.

            >think he’s upset because I referred to his photo as “gross” or “repulsive” or

            Wow, wrong again.

            Your words were you were disturbed by it. Again – if you are disturbed by seeing someone nude, don’t go looking for pictures of them nude on a site that clearly shows it is nude photos of people.

            Thats the definition of a prude – you are the one who acted as you did. Sorry if the name fits.

            Look – I have told you in the past if you don’t like your inane picture stunt being brought up just use a nick to post here.

            Don’t want to do that?

            Fine, get used to me having to identify you from all the other anonymous posters by your dopey picture stunt.

            Pretty simple.

            >Yikes. That’s all I’ve got left to say.

            Thank God

            Now can you just pick a nick so we dont have to go into this over and over?

            Got it you two?

            Prude guy – pick a nick. Call yourself “KillRupert” for all I care.

            Professor guy – get off it, you mis-posted using “anonymous”. Who the hell cares? Just call it good and move on. Don’t be a weenie and try to push the blame off on me for your post mistake and not knowing how you voted on a measure half a year ago.

          • a retired professor

            OK, Rupert, yes.

            It’s not that you didn’t know it was me — I said I had inadvertently left that out — it was your bizarre segue into the nude pictures, the “liberal prude” shtick. It was bizarre. Is bizarre.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >So look, you mistook me (when it probably should have been evident it was I) for “Anonymous

          Again, I did not mistake you for anyone.

          I gave the two cases under which it was possible for someone to say “in case”.

          Your mistake in posting anonymously is your own – get off trying to put it off on me.

          >then in your reply for your own bizarre reasons went off on your stupid nude photos

          What bizarre reason?

          The only anonymous person that I knew of where is would make sense for him to assume I knew of his vote was the guy who posted the link to those pictures.

          That’s why I identified him as such, since he posts as anonymous its the only way I have to identify him.

          This has now been explained to you several times, yet you keep trying to insist that such explanations or identifications are bizarre behaviour on my part.

          Are you seriously that childish?

          Next time don’t expect people to automatically know who the hell you are when you screw up and post as anonymous. Simply explain what happened and call it good.

          >And if you’re OK with people looking at the stuff you post on the web, why do you refer to it as “stalking”

          Because of the way it was done. What he did was to search on the email I use here – then search on the first portion of that email -jacklordGOD in order to discover those pictures which I had posted ten years prior and frankly had forgotten about.

          When someone goes to that level of effort, and then post such links, clearly in an attempt to disclose that which he thinks the other person will find embarrassing, I would call that stalking type behaviour.

          You are the one who is assuming I was using it in the criminal context. I never said such a thing. The term “stalking” is often used in exactly this sort of situation, more generally in the form of social networking sites such as mySpace. You can even get T shirts using the term in that context.

          It is hardly uncommon, but obviously you are looking at anything here to try and deflect blame.

          >Maybe you know the answer to Portland’s troubling student performance.

          Sure, I have proposed it several times here. Give ever kid a voucher for $5k. That’s enough to cover a big chunk of private school. The kid leaves and gets a better education. The school gets to keep the remaining $5k (I’m using round numbers of $10k spending per student in public school) for doing nothing. That does seem to be what they do best.

          >As I (and others) keep saying here, put it on the ballot and get the voters to approve!

          And as I and others have repeatedly told you and those who have this lazy “run it up the flag pole” argument – the fact that that teachers unions are able to defeat initiatives they don’t like hardly means that a solution is not at hand.

          Ok – so I will make an assumption here – you were most definitely not a professor of logic.

          >Maybe if they google on “Rupert in Springfield” and look around, they’ll have great confidence in your educational wisdom.

          Obviously you have done so, and please, don’t go kindergarten on me and claim you didn’t.

          I value my contribution to society a lot more than yours. My success in life has been due to my own efforts and education. Yours I would imagine has largely been to union negotiations on your behalf as a professor, and cushy tenure positions.

          You don’t like what I do? That’s fine.

          You want to impugn that what I do takes a low education level? You’re a fool.

          The difference between you and me is that at least I am secure in myself enough to put myself out there as who I am.

          You, on the other hand, are a guy who can’t even admit he made a simple mistake in posting anonymously and then had to claim I was making assumptions about you.

          A professor who has to push the blame off on others for his mistake.

          You might have achieved a higher level of education than me (I do not have a PhD, if you call yourself a professor I assume you do), but it is clear you didn’t learn a lot on the way there.

          • a retired professor

            Wow! jacklordGOD in your email or something?

            Googling on “Rupert in Springfield” is not exactly advanced cyberespionage. I bet someone out there has even googled on “a retired professor.” Not that they’ll find anything about ME except my posts on this dumb website.

            As I say, get vouchers on the ballot again. They’ll probably lose as bad as last time, was that 20 years ago? Apparently the voters have a harder time seeing you “solution” than you do.

            For the record, I don’t belong to a union, there is no faculty union at UO, as you could easily learn.

            Oh, and you think my success, such as it is, is due to my cushy tenured position? I’d like to see you get a tenured position (in science, if it matters). A hint: you have to get a Ph.D. first. That is only the very beginning. Good luck to you!

            Maybe you could get a position teaching about your great business!

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Wow! jacklordGOD in your email or something?

            Googling on “Rupert in Springfield” is not exactly advanced cyberespionage.

            I seriously have to explain this to you again?

            Fine, here it is again.

            He used the first portion of that nick to find the site with the pictures of me. I had used that first portion “jacklordGOD” as the nick on that site.

            That’s what he said he did.

            Got it now?

            It’s real simple.

            >For the record, I don’t belong to a union, there is no faculty union at UO, as you could easily learn.

            I am well acquainted with the lack of a union at UO as well as the tenure process there.

            But why would I even bother to learn it as on what basis would I know you were from UO?

            You nitwit – You screwed up on your nick again.

            It just says retired professor – not retired UO professor. I am supposed to know the “retired UO professor” changed his nick to “retired professor”?

            Look, when you get your act together on your nick get back to me – until then Im not sure I can take a guy seriously who can’t even admit he made a mistake and has to start besmirching what other people do for a living because he is so insecure he has to hide behind a nick he can’t even keep straight from post to post.

            Get your nick straight and then we can talk.

            Grow up a little and don’t assume everyone knows who the hell you are when you change your nick or when you post anonymously.

            Until then you are done.

    • a student

      Mr. Plunk actually has posted about various aspects of his son’s college education on a variety of websites, as anyone can see from using google a bit (unless the posts are fake or something). So while I don’t see that his son has to be brought up here, I don’t see how he can complain, especially when the topic is education or college, especially Oregon public universities.

      • Steve Plunk

        I’m curious what you found. It’s nice to know there’s something out there with my name on it. It’s probably true that I have mentioned my son in other places and in context of whatever discussion may be going on. That doesn’t make family fair game here however. In most cases here family is brought up to incite or bait as earlier mentioned.

        I can understand anonymous’ concern about perceived insults when a person complains about a particular class or profession and I do my best not to make it personal but public employees, union members, and teachers need to be grouped for public policy discussions. If someone wants to group college kids together and bad mouth them I take no offense. See the difference? If I say registered Democrats are less intelligent than Republicans is that a personal insult to any Dems here? Of course not.

        As you can see the issue of the time is public employees versus the private sector. People get pretty upset on both sides.

        • a student

          google on combinations with or without quotation marks from the list

          steve plunk steven my son college

          and I think you’ll come up with things. There is even one post where you discussed financing college, I believe. Any reasonably able college student these days could find these in no time. I won’t post any individual links. If you still don’t find these, I can post more if you like, but only at your request.

          I have no idea if others have seen these, but I don’t see how you can complain TOO much if they bring up matters that you’ve publicly spoken about on the web.

          • Steve Plunk

            I followed your Google instructions and found two times I mentioned my son and college. One was a discussion about Ward Churchill’s academic malfeasance and my concerns for my son’s education back in ’09 and the other was a mention in January of this year after Eagle brought it up.

            You can see I don’t trot him out as a prop when convenient. I didn’t think I was complaining TOO much, just a little.

            I hope you stick around and keep posting. You have the right temperament and know what you’re talking about as much as anybody else.

  • a retired professor

    All these posts for a lackluster political hack article advocating money for teachers instead of bureaucracy!

    • Rupert in Springfield

      More like posts for a retired hack who assumes when he changes his nick or posts under an “anonymous” nick that everyone gets the psychic friends message over the ether.

      • valey p

        Hard to keep up. Question Rupert, and there will be a test on this. What and where is the largest private school system in the United states?

        Hint, it is not the Quakers.

        • cc

          “Hard to keep up.”

          I’ll bet it is, deanie.

          You can’t even “keep up” on the spelling of your own sorry “nick”.

          Which, of course, doesn’t keep you from correcting the spelling of others.

          Pathetique!

          • v-a-l-l-e-y p.

            Well cc, since it is my own nom de plume, I get to spell it however I decide. And fortunately for you, its really hard to misspell cc, though I suppose you could miss the key and hit xx or vv, but then who would really care since you never have anything interesting to add anyway?

  • eagle eye

    Bruce Starr certainly has stirred up a veritable cyclone of vigorous and useful discussion!

    • valley p

      Vigorous perhaps, but useful? Or are you being facetious?

      • eagle eye

        My astringent slightly warped sense of humor again! It’s 90% (at least) useless. The volume of posts is what amazes.

  • cna training

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